What is EOAA's process?

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) is not a confidential reporting resource.  Once EOAA becomes aware of information that may violate the University’s discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, or retaliation policies, we may have an obligation to take some responsive action to prevent further misconduct from occurring.  However, we try to work with individuals to discuss a variety of ways to appropriately address the concerns raised.

EOAA is available to meet with individuals to discuss our processes.  We invite you to schedule a preliminary meeting to have a general discussion about our processes before deciding if you want to report specific concerns or initiate an investigation.

We also encourage individuals to consult with confidential resources at the University for support. Click here for available resources. Please consult with these offices individually about their ability to meet with you confidentially.

Consultations

EOAA usually begins by meeting with the individual who has requested a consultation to: 

  • Listen to the individual’s concerns and the circumstances surrounding the situation;
  • Ask questions about the individual’s concerns and the circumstances;
  • Explore different approaches to addressing the situation;
  • Determine if EOAA is an appropriate University resource to address the concerns; and/or
  • Advise the individual of other available University resources for resolution and/or support.

Responding to reports that an employee engaged in discrimination, sexual misconduct, or retaliation

Informal Resolution Process

After an initial consultation, an EOAA staff member may be able to address the individual’s concerns without conducting a formal investigation. These efforts may include:

  • conducting an initial inquiry to gather additional information about the report;
  • providing education or coaching to the respondent or complainant;
  • providing resources or recommendations to the respondent, a supervisor, or human resources representative;
  • providing relevant information to the individuals involved;
  • making changes to an employee's workflow or work location;
  • establishing a plan monitoring for future misconduct; and
  • exploring other resolutions acceptable to those involved in the situation and to the EOAA representative.

Formal Investigation

Depending on the circumstances, a formal investigation may be appropriate.  Typical steps in a formal investigation include:

  • interviewing the individual raising the concerns;
  • interviewing the individuals with information relevant to the situation;
  • informing responsible administrators about the concerns and investigation;
  • interviewing the person who is reported to have engaged in misconduct; and
  • collecting and reviewing documents and other forms of information from the parties, witnesses, Human Resources, administrators, or other individuals with relevant information.

The University strives to complete these investigations within 75 days. However, depending on the complexity of the investigation, the number of witnesses, the availability of evidence and other factors, investigations may take more than 75 days.

At the conclusion of a formal investigation, EOAA will prepare a summary of the investigation and make a conclusion as to whether University policies against discrimination, sexual misconduct, or related retaliation were violated.  EOAA typically sends the report to:  the individual(s) who raised the concerns; the individual(s) who are reported to have engaged in the misconduct; and the responsible administrator(s).  EOAA will also make recommendations for responsive action to the responsible administrator(s).  We may provide recommendations to the responsible administrator whether or not there was a violation of policy.

Either party may seek review of EOAA's written findings by providing concerns to EOAA's Director in writing. In addition, employees may consult with EOAA and other applicable policies or offices to determine whether other review or grievance procedures are available to them related to the written findings including, for example:

  • Bargaining unit employees should contact their union representative and/or refer to the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
  • Faculty members should refer to Chapter 14 of Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Tenure. Faculty members may contact the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost for more information about processes under this policy:

Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

234 Morrill Hall

100 Church Street SE

Minneapolis, MN 55455

provost@umn.edu

612-625-0051

  • Faculty members who are not represented by a union should refer to the University’s conflict resolution process for employees. These faculty members may contact the Office for Conflict Resolution for more information:

Office for Conflict Resolution

662 Heller Hall (West Bank)

271 19th Avenue South

Minneapolis, MN 55455

612-624-1030

ocr@umn.edu

Additional Resources

Responding to reports that a student engaged in sexual misconduct

University policies, including the Student Conduct Code, prohibit sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence.  Upon receiving a report that a student engaged in sexual misconduct, EOAA reaches out to the impacted person to provide resources for personal support and options for investigation.  EOAA will not share the impacted person's information or initiate an investigation unless the impacted person wants this, except where there may be a significant danger to campus safety.

In cases where the impacted person requests an investigation, or where EOAA otherwise determines that an investigation is necessary to maintain campus safety, EOAA will conduct an impartial investigation of the sexual misconduct report.  The nature and scope of an investigation will be determined based on the report and any additional information gathered during the investigation, and will typically include the following elements:

  • One or more interviews of the complainant, where the complainant will have the opportunity to describe the conduct giving rise to the report, provide evidence, and identify witnesses;
  • Written notice to the respondent of the allegations constituting potential sexual misconduct, including sufficient details and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview;
  • One or more interviews of the respondent, where the respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations, provide evidence, and identify witnesses;
  • Witness interviews and gathering of other evidence; and
  • Review and analysis of the evidence.

The University strives to complete sexual misconduct investigations within 75 days. However, depending on the complexity of the investigation, the number of witnesses, the availability of evidence and other factors, some investigations may take more than 75 days. The following bullets describe the post-investigatory process.

  • Upon completion of a sexual misconduct investigation, EOAA will make an initial finding as to whether University policy was violated. EOAA will prepare an initial findings report that summarizes the reported conduct, the information gathered during the investigation, and the initial finding.
  • The complainant and respondent will be given access to the initial findings report and, when applicable, to a written proposed informal resolution to the sexual misconduct report. If both parties agree to the informal resolution, the University’s process ends.
  • Both parties will receive written information about how to request a hearing. A party who disagrees with the initial finding or proposed informal resolution may request a formal hearing before a panel drawn from the Student Sexual Misconduct Subcommittee (SSMS).
  • Both parties will receive written notice of the hearing panel’s decision on responsibility and, if the respondent is found responsible, the sanctions that will be imposed.
  • Both parties will receive written notice of their right to appeal the hearing panel’s decision to an impartial appellate officer.
  • In the case of an appeal, both parties will receive the appellate officer’s written decision. The appellate officer will strive to render a decision within 30 calendar days of the notice of appeal and will provide the decision to both parties.

Responding to reports of nepotism

The Board of Regents’ Nepotism Policy governs conflicts of interest that result from personal relationships among members of the University community.  The University requires reporting of potential nepotism situations to Human Resources or to EOAA so that appropriate steps can be taken to avoid any prohibited activity.

In most cases, EOAA consults on and engages in the informal resolution of cases of potential nepotism.  EOAA may advise on whether the proposed conduct (e.g., hire, promotion) would violate the Nepotism Policy.  EOAA also may help draft a nepotism agreement that addresses and makes provisions to avoid the conflict of interest.  A template for a nepotism agreement can be found here: http://www.policy.umn.edu/Policies/hr/HRMisc/WORKPLACERELATIONSHIPS_APPA.html  Changes and additions to this template often are required to fit the particular situation.  An EOAA representative must sign the nepotism agreement for it to be compliant with the policy.

EOAA may also investigate complaints about potential nepotism, following the same process described above in the case of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. 

Reporting discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual misconduct

You can report to EOAA by:

  • Scheduling an appointment with an EOAA representative.  Please call (612) 624-9547 or email eoaa@umn.edu.  We can provide the best assistance by meeting in person or scheduling a telephone call.

            Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

274 McNamara Alumni Center

200 Oak Street SE

Minneapolis, MN 55455

eoaa@umn.edu

fax:  (612) 624-5223

  • Contact UReport  The UReport provides a way for University community members to report violations of rules, regulations and policies. The report can be made anonymously. Situations that implicate discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, nepotism, and related retaliation policies will be forwarded to EOAA.  

To file a discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual violence complaint on campuses other than the Twin Cities campus, please contact the following offices:

System campus EOAA information

Duluth Campus:  http://www.d.umn.edu/umdoeo/

Morris Campus: http://www.morris.umn.edu/hr/staff/

Crookston Campus: https://www.crk.umn.edu/units/human-resources

Rochester Campus: http://r.umn.edu/administration/eoaa/

 

System campus student conduct information

Duluth Campus: http://www.d.umn.edu/conduct/

Morris Campus: http://www.morris.umn.edu/stu_affairs/

Crookston Campus: http://www3.crk.umn.edu/administration/StudentAffairs/

Rochester Campus: http://r.umn.edu/administration/umr-leadership/vice-chancellor